Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver


DSCF9765

Vinyl records, are you old enough to remember those? I am, and I’ve got several of them floating around, and until recently I didn’t have a way to play them. Turntables are something that many people out there have never owned, and with digital music being as popular as it is, there’s not much of a reason to even own one other than nostalgia. I was born, many years ago, and owned several turntables in my life, the last one died a while ago and I just never got another until recently when Geeks sent me one over for review. The timing for this review was great actually, my mom died back in February and it gave me a chance to collect a lot of the things from the house that I forgot I had, and that includes many old vinyl records that I listened to in my errant youth. Going through and finding everything sure brought back a lot of memories for me, and finding the records led to me wanting to get another record player just to relive a bit of my childhood and share it with my own children, they’ve never saw a record until I brought boxes of them home, so it was something strange and new to them.

Geeks.com sells many different computers parts, and you can pretty much find anything you need from them. Today for review I’ve got the Grace Digital Audio Pico Compact USB Turntable, and it’s interesting to me in that it combines the old vinyl records together with your computer. The main idea of the Pico Turntable is to help you archive your old records, you can use your PC or Mac to covert them over to many audio formats. The recording function isn’t the only feature though, for me the main feature was of course the ability to listen to my old vinyl records once again. The Pico Turntable also comes with Audacity software, which is open source and works nicely with the turntable to record and edit your audio files. So read on to learn more about the Pico USB Turntable…


The Pico Turntable I received for review is a refurbished unit, personally I’ve got no problems with refurbs and this one seems perfectly fine, being a refurb though it only comes in a plain brown box, no fancy packing at all. Included with the Pico Turntable is a USB cable, power cable, audio cables, software CD and user manual.

DSCF9371 DSCF9372 DSCF9376 DSCF9377

The turntable itself is made primarily of plastic, it features a semi-clear cover that is open on three sides, the front, left and back. The reason that it’s open is that the record actually sticks out of the cover while in place. I’m not sure I like that design though, personally I’d like the record to be inside of the cover for protection.

DSCF9381 DSCF9386

On the back of the Pico you’ll find the audio ports, and the USB connection, and the power cord coming out of it.

DSCF9388 DSCF9397

Opening the cover reveals the turntable itself, the main section, where the record sits is metal with three rubber bumpers that the record sits on. 

DSCF9402  DSCF9406

On the right side is the player arm, here you’ll also find the speed selection switch and the auto power off switch.

DSCF9405DSCF9412 DSCF9416

The player arm itself locks into place when not in use, there’s a lever that lifts the arm up to be used, you place the needle above the record and then move the lever back, then needle very slowly drops to the record and begins playing. The needle is also user replaceable, but you’ll have to order one as it does not come with an extra. I couldn’t find the replacement needles on the Grace Digital website, but I found them other place online like Amazon for only $6.57. It’s a model ITC-TUNENEEDLE if you’re curious.

DSCF9418 DSCF9419 DSCF9421 DSCF9423

There’s also a 45 adapter that just slips onto the center of the turntable.

DSCF9408 DSCF9410

Specifications:
Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver

Digitize your entire vinyl collection with this Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver!
This Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 USB Turntable connects to your home stereo via the RCA line-out and features a USB connection for direct recording to a PC or Mac!
This Pico GDI-VW00  includes Audacity Cross-Platform Sound Editor to enhance and convert your music to MP3s. It even removes unwanted pops, clicks and hissing noises from your recordings. Plus, its compact size takes up a fraction of the space a full size turntable would!
Don’t let all your great old records go to waste! Turn those old analog vinyl records to digital with this Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver!

General Features:
-Compact design
-USB connection for direct recording to your PC or MAC
-Plays and records 33, 45 RPM & 78 RPM records
-RCA Line-out to connect to your home stereo system
-One-touch play and stop
-Ruby needle Ceramic pick up
-Built-in RIAA equalizer
-Belt drive system
-35 dB S/N ratio (signal to noise)
-Plug and Play
-Includes Audacity Cross-Platform Sound Editor to enhance & convert your music
-Burn your entire album to CD, convert your songs to MP3 for use on your iPod and add all your recorded files to your computer’s music library

Connectors:
-Type B USB port
-RCA audio out

Unit Dimensions:
-4.25 x 12 x 10.5-inches (H x W x D,approximate)

Package Includes:
* Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver
* Installation CD with Audacity software (on 3-inch CD)
* USB cable
* RCA red/white to 3.5 mm plug
* 45 RPM adapter
* Operation Manual

Price:$44.99


We’ll start with the included software first, it’s called Audacity and it’s open source, thus available for free to anyone to use. It’s also nice in that it can be used with much more than just the Pico Turntable, so you can use it for just about any recording needs.

The software installs in a few seconds, across the top of the interface are several options with many drop down boxes that offer tons of other choices for editing, exporting and even adding effect to your audio files, I’m not going to get in depth with this software, if you want to learn more you can grab it HERE for free, gut here’s a bunch of screenshots of the interface.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

One thing I found is that when you first start up Audacity is that it’s in Mono mode, you’ll need to go into the preferences and change to Stereo if you wish to record in stereo. There’s also a plethora of option in the preferences as well that you can adjust and change to your own, well, preferences.

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Using the software is easy, once you go into the preferences and adjust it how you like, you turn the Pico Turntable on, set the needle in place, then just hit the record button and it starts recording the vinyl record.

12 13 14 15

I used my old The Doors album, The Soft Parade, for this review, but here’s some pictures of The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour on the Pico turntable. You can see how the record hangs over the sides, I just don’t really like that, it doesn’t protect the record, many of my albums are 40, 50 years old and some even older than that.

DSCF9765 DSCF9768 DSCF9777 DSCF9780

The actual recording of the albums works great, but the quality of the recording will of course depend on the condition of the record you are recording from.

I’ve uploaded a 45 second MP3 format sample of The Doors, The Soft Parade for you to listen to if you wish, you can find it HERE.

If you wish to actually listen to your albums you’ll need a pair of powered external speakers hooked up to the Pico Turntable, you cannot, at least I haven’t figured it out, listen to your record through your computer speakers while it’s connected via USB. You can plainly hear that it’s a record, the sound is decent, but it appears to be missing something, it sounds kind of flat to me, there’s no way to really adjust the bass and treble levels while using the record player through external speakers. To get good sound you’ll need to run it through your stereo so you can adjust it.


DSCF9372DSCF9381 DSCF9402 DSCF9768

Conclusion:

The Pico Compact USB Turntable is a great little product that allows you to pull out those dusty old vinyl albums and relive your youth. It’s also a great way to backup your vinyl collection, vinyl won’t last forever and it’s subject to warping and scratching, so you’ll want to back it up digitally to save your collection. It works with both PC or Mac so anyone can use it, and it will output to many different audio formats, so you’re free to archive your collection how ever you want.

I came across two problems with the Pico Turntable, the first being that you can’t listen to your vinyl records through your PC speakers, the second problem is that the turntable itself doesn’t protect your records. Yes it’s supposed to be a small footprint, hence the Pico name, but personally I would prefer the protection over the small size of the unit.

9

Pros:
+Easy to use
+Various output format options
+Mac and PC Compatible
+Software has lots of options

Cons:
-Music won’t play through computer speakers
-Design is questionable

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10
  • Pingback: HotConcept » Blog Archive » Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl …()

  • Pingback: Grace Digital Audio Pico GDI-VW00 Compact USB Turntable/Vinyl … | recordingdigitalaudio.com()

  • Pingback: Happy Father’s Day! | MEGATechNews :: Mega Techie Goodness For the Masses()

  • Kamanashi

    Cool. This would be pretty awesome if I knew where the vinyl records my Grandpa had went.

  • Kasparov

    78 rpm records require a 3 mil needle. 45/33 use a .7 mil. Is this a flip over cartridge. Is there only one needle, if so what mil is it?

  • Darryl

    This or any other audio source will play through your computer system and speakers by simply connecting a cable from the R/L audio output of the turntable into the line-in jack on your computer. You may have to adjust the sound properties on your computer to un-mute the line in or adjust the input volume, but this does work.

  • mike w

    I just purchased this turntable and I am not impressed at all. It is easy to set up and figure out how to record your records and adjust the software. The BIG problem is that my turntable does not appear to be calibrated as the speeds are inconsistent and worse their appears to be no antiskating set up as the needle slides across any given record after a only a few seconds . I tried several 45s and Lps with the same results…very frustrating and in my case a usless piece of C%$@ !

  • GS

    Do you have more sample song?? It sound no bad from that sample song..

  • http://jkeltonga.com jkeltonga

    Don’t waste your time or money with this cheap imitation of a turntable. The speed fluctuates and the sound is very tinny. After recording three songs from vinyl, I decided the problem was the Grace turntable, not the album. I promptly put everything back in the box and returned the item for a full refund. You can listen to a sample song recorded on this record player here: http://cbkelton.com/music/singles-by-cb-kelton/
    Play the song entitled “Blue Christmas” or “Little Girls Christmas.” Both songs were recorded from the record player to mp3 using the USB interface and the included recording software (Audacity). I decided to go with the AT PL-120 and a Shure M97xE. I will post a review of the turntables on my site when I have the AT turntable in hand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1851843427 David S. Thornberry

    Well it does play 78’s the only reason we chose it. And the Rca output is much better than the USB. I will be used mainly on a bedroom stereo. Just make sure you use a TAPE input not PHONO 

Call of Duty Franchise Hits $10 Billion in Sales Worldwide

Call of Duty Franchise Hits $10 Billion in Sales W…

Kristofer Brozio
I have to  admit, 10 billion dollars is rather impressive, and I have to admit I’m not in that numbe…
Read More
18 hours agoCall of Duty Franchise Hits $10 Billion in Sales W…
Wiley Announces Coding For Kids for Dummies Book

Wiley Announces Coding For Kids for Dummies Book

Kristofer Brozio
Hmm, I want this  book for me, I’ll read it then I’ll give it to my kids, I think I need it&nbs…
Read More
18 hours agoWiley Announces Coding For Kids for Dummies Book
Get Things for iOS Free Until November 28th

Get Things for iOS Free Until November 28th

Kristofer Brozio
I don’t know what ‘Things’ is but it’s free until November 28th for both iPad and iPhone with prices…
Read More
18 hours agoGet Things for iOS Free Until November 28th
Call of Duty: Heroes Out Today on iOS, Android Coming Soon

Call of Duty: Heroes Out Today on iOS, Android Com…

Kristofer Brozio
Blah, so I totally misread this PR at first and I went to download this from Google Play and then tr…
Read More
16 hours agoCall of Duty: Heroes Out Today on iOS, Android Com…
OCZ Launches Sabre 1000 Series SSDs

OCZ Launches Sabre 1000 Series SSDs

Kristofer Brozio
OCZ announced this morning the launch of the Sabre 1000 series of SSDs which are enterprise class wh…
Read More
16 hours agoOCZ Launches Sabre 1000 Series SSDs